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Oscar P. Fitzgerald

(b Aberdeen, 1740; d Philadelphia, PA, March 5, 1795).

American cabinetmaker of Scottish birth. He trained as a cabinetmaker in Edinburgh and London. In 1763 he arrived in Philadelphia on the same boat as John Penn, the new Governor of Pennsylvania and a future client, to join Quaker friends. He opened a shop on Union Street and eventually moved to Second Street in the Society Hill area. He made stylish mahogany furniture (sold 1788; e.g. Philadelphia, PA, Cliveden Mus.; armchair, Winterthur, DE, Mus. & Gdns) for the governor’s mansion at Lansdowne, PA, and many of the most prominent families in the city owned his work, including the Mifflins, the Whartons, and the Chew family at Cliveden. The parlour suite he made for John Cadwalader carved by James Reynolds and the firm of Bernard and Jugiez in 1770–71 was among the most elaborate ever produced in the colonies (pole screen, Philadelphia, PA, Mus. A.).

A Quaker and Loyalist, Affleck refused to participate in the Revolution (...

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Husk  

Gordon Campbell

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Donna Corbin

(b Chantilly, June 27, 1779; d New York, Oct 16, 1819).

American cabinetmaker of French birth. Lannuier received his training from his brother, Nicolas-Louis-Cyrille Lannuier, who was admitted to the Corporation des Menuisiers-Ebénistes in Paris on 23 July 1783. Charles-Honoré arrived in the USA in 1803 and settled in New York where he established a workshop at 60 Broad Street, an address he would occupy for his entire career. He was a contemporary and rival of Duncan Phyfe and became one of the pre-eminent furnituremakers in the USA working in the Late Federal period. His craftsmanship was of the highest quality, and he counted among his customers such distinguished New York families as the Morrises, Stuyvesants, and Rensselaers. He was perhaps the first American cabinetmaker to employ French manufactured cast-brass ornaments. Despite a reliance throughout his career on French styles—in the early years, on those of the Directoire and Consulate periods he experienced in Paris first hand, and later, after the move to New York, on those of imported Empire-period pieces—he nevertheless created a highly original style that is distinctly American. Of the large and well-documented body of Lannuier’s work, there is a preponderance of tables, especially pier- and card-tables (...

Article

John A. Fleming

(b Duns, Borders, 1776; d Saint John, NB, Dec 28, 1850).

Canadian cabinetmaker and upholsterer of Scottish birth. He arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick, in 1813 and set up a workshop on Prince William Street where he was active until 1848. Working in the Anglo-American Neo-classical and later Empire styles, Nisbet soon had an operation that employed specialized carvers and turners and supplied other cabinetmakers with piecework. Nisbet’s documented furniture, mainly sofas, sideboards and tables, has certain specific characteristics: spiral- or rope-turned legs, carved fans, pronounced two-ring turnings at the base of legs, ebonized grooves and acanthus-leaf carving (e.g. table, c. 1825; Toronto, Royal Ont. Mus.;). He worked mostly with imported mahogany and occasionally with maple or other native woods. His pieces are always highly finished, with mouldings carrying over to unseen parts of the piece. Almost one hundred labelled pieces have been identified. His sons, Thomas Nisbet jr (1810–45) and Robert Nisbet (b c. 1820), also worked in the business, which continued until ...

Article

Oscar P. Fitzgerald

(b Loch Fannich, nr Inverness, 1768; d New York, Aug 16, 1854).

American cabinetmaker of Scottish birth. He immigrated to America with his family about 1784 and settled in Albany, NY, where he served his apprenticeship. About 1792 he moved to New York and opened his own shop; his business prospered, and he moved to a new location on Partition Street (now Fulton Street). As his reputation spread, the most fashionable people in the city, including wealthy New York merchants John Jacob Astor, William Bayard, and De Witt Clinton, sought his services. His shop grew to be one of the largest in the city, and he shipped furniture to customers in New Jersey, Philadelphia, the West Indies, and the south, particularly Charleston, SC, and Savannah where he had his own agent.

Phyfe was an important disseminator of the new English Adam and Regency taste, and his name is synonymous with these neat Neo-classical styles as they developed in New York in the early 19th century. His best furniture is characterized by the use of dark Santo Domingo mahogany, reeding and carved water leaves, lyres (...